Category Archives: Learning Resources

Meet the Friendly Ghosts: Casper, Phantom, Slimer and Wraith.

This summer’s “Ghost Busters” movie was about naughty ghosts getting busted, but we’re going to discuss some very friendly and helpful “ghosts” who do some busting of their own: they bust (or detect) visual regression bugs on your website.

A visual regression bug is a style defect that is unintentionally introduced to the site, usually when a well-meaning developer changes some other styles. Unless you test every page (and every resolution) of the site every time you make a style change, these regression bugs can go unnoticed and get deployed to your live website.

Conducting this much manual testing on regular basis would be quite costly. It would also not be very reliable because humans often overlook slight variations in typography and layout.

Fortunately, this is where our friendly “ghosts” come in. Casperjs, Phantomjs, Slimerjs and Wraith are automated testing utilities that allow us to quickly and reliably compare a live website with a development copy (or a historical baseline) of that site. These tools view the pages of your website at any number of specified widths (or “breakpoints”), taking screenshots of each. The screenshots are then compared (“diffed”) pixel-by-pixel and any differences are highlighted. Continue reading

The Power of CSS3 Pseudo Class Selectors

Though not fully supported in all browsers, CSS3 pseudo class selectors are really powerful and exciting. I’ve been using the basic CSS pseudo classes (e.g., a:hover) for ages, but I’ve only recently started using other pseudo classes, particularly the position/number-based ones.

Continue reading

Wow – Just Wow!

It’s true what they say about the fastest way to get out of a funk is to help others.

I’m volunteering this week to teach a group of tweens Drupal. We had a blast yesterday – what a great bunch of individuals.

None of the students have prior site building experience, but by the end of our first day, each of them had created their own Drupal 7 site. They spun-up their own dev sites on Pantheon, installed 3 modules, created content and new content types, created page and block views, learned how to use blocks and mastered menus. Continue reading

SoundPost Media Publishes Drupal PCI Compliance White Paper

I’m excited to see this white paper on PCI compliance published today. This couldn’t be better timing for me, as I plan to spend the next few days on final shopping cart QA and security checks for the gench site.

It looks like most of the recommendations are pretty straightforward, but the big take-away is that I have to make sure the shared hosting service for the new gench e-commerce site is PCI DSS compliant. Something tells me earthlink probably isn’t compliant (their support guy once asked me for my password!!!).

My client is reluctant to move the gench site to another hosting provider, but we may have to if we want to avoid the huge fines and headaches non-compliance could entail.

Impressions on Lullabot’s DrupalizeMe Video Tutorial Series

A few people have asked me what I think of Lullabot’s DrupalizeMe video tutorial series.

I signed up for it about a month ago and the bottom line is at $45 per month ($35 if you sign up for a year), it’s a really good value. I haven’t tried the other for-fee services out there so I don’t really have any basis for comparison. I just know these tutorials have helped me tremendously. Continue reading